Ricci Stars in Dundee victory over Blaze
A hat-trick and Man of the Match performance from Fabrizio Ricci lead the Dundee Stars to a crucial 4-3 victory over the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze at the Dundee Ice Arena.
Blaze travelled to Scotland with Alex Nikiforuk back in the line-up following a single game suspension. They were though without Justin Hache, Jake Hansen and Ross Venus through injury.
The opening period was a back-and-forth affair with both playoff chasing teams creating chances in the early going.
The deadlock was broken at 10.55 when British forward Jordan Cownie pulled a nice move and found Ricci who hammered home his first of the night for 1-0.
Ricci was then involved in a fight with Blaze’s top scorer Ben Lake. The pair each receiving 5 minute penalties for fighting with Lake having to swap his jersey after being heavily cut.
The second period belonged to Coventry scoring three unanswered. Brit Alex Forbes was rewarded for his hard work to tie the game 1-1 at 24.52, assisted by Dillon Lawrence and Captain Kevin Morris.
Then came a double for Blaze Man of the Match Shawn Pauly, the first though in reality an own goal from the Stars. The second an outstanding shot with the markers timed at 32.23 and 39.01 respectively.
With their playoff hopes on the line, Dundee came out rejuvenated in the third and through Ricci they found a way back into the game on the powerplay (42.59).
Brian Hart next pounced on a rebound to tie the game 3-3 (47.21) before Ricci with his hat-trick scored the game winner at 49.06.
With the clock ticking down, any chance of a Blaze comeback was made all the more difficult as arguable penalty calls went against them leaving Coach Danny Stewart and his players frustrated and angry as they left the Dundee ice with a 4-3 defeat.